5 Bruins Prospects to Watch in 2018-19
The 2017–18 Boston Bruins season was a terrific storyline for the club’s young guns. The team was, at times, propelled by guy’s who at one time were prospects in the Bruins system. And the good news for the Bruins is that there are plenty more young guys in the system who’ll soon be ready to help produce in the NHL.
Here’s a look at 5 prospects, in no particular order, to keep and eye on for the Bruins this season:
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson — C
Forsbacka Karlsson will enter camp as the prospect with the best chance to make the big club. The 21-year-old center had a quick cup of coffee with the Bruins in the 2016–17 season, playing in the season finale. He spent the entire 2017–18 season in the AHL where he posted 15 goals and 17 assists in 58 games. A concussion sidelined him for a solid chuck of the season, which slowed his growth and production. Expect him to show up to camp fully rested and bigger as he looks to claim his spot on the NHL roster.
Jack Studnicka — C
The Bruins 2017 2nd round pick is coming off a solid season in the OHL. In 66 games with the Oshawa Generals, Studnicka tallied 22 goals and 50 assists. He also played five games with the Providence Bruins and picked up a goal and four assists in those games. He needs to bulk up in order to make it in the NHL so if he comes into camp with the size and showcases his talent, expect him to make a push for a roster spot on opening night.
Trent Frederic — C
Frederic will seemingly go the Jake DeBrusk route and spend a whole season the AHL before making the jump to the NHL. The 2016 1st round pick spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, where he had 32 goals and 33 assists in 66 games. He finished the season up in Providence last year and had five goals and three assists in 13 games. The big center is one of the Bruins most prized prospects and they’ll most likely let him develop as much as he can. Don’t expect him to be rushed to the NHL this season, expect him to build his game in Providence.
Urho Vaakanainen — D
The 2017 1st round pick could make a push to make the opening night roster, but it’s likely that he’ll start the year in the AHL. The smooth skating d-man is coming off a solid season in SM-Liiga where he showed his defensive ability. Vaakanainen is known for his great skating ability and his ability to get the puck out of his defensive zone, which is something the Bruins struggled with last season. A year of seasoning in the AHL should help him get used to the North American game, but some believe that it won’t take him a year to adapt and that he could be on the roster by the end of the season.
Daniel Vladar — G
If you’ve ever wondered what life is going to be like in net after the departure of Tuukka Rask, your answer may lie right here. Vladar was drafted by the Bruins in the 2015 Draft and has slowly gone through the ranks since. After spending much of the last two seasons in the ECHL, the 6’5″ netminder is expected to be a full time AHL goalie this season. He’s still a few years away from NHL readiness, but Rask still has three years to go on his current deal and with Jaroslav Halak and Zane McIntyre ahead of him on the depth chart, there’s no rush in getting Vladar NHL ready immediately. The Czech goalie has shown improvement over the last few seasons and now he’ll get his shot to improve in the AHL.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)